Don’t you dare – I have a protective order.

By | Domestic Violence

Look to your left and look to your right. Chances are you are looking at a victim of domestic violence. Man or woman. Don’t argue with the statistics. It’s true.

Here I sit behind the white ivory tower of my keyboard and tell those who are abused to get out of the relationship, get safe and get a protective order. I read the articles. I know trying to get out could get you killed. Stay safe but don’t lose hope.

Once a judge grants a protective order, and it is served, violations could result in a year in jail and fines. Repeat violations are 3rd degree felonies. It’s a big deal. It’s there to help you reclaim your liberty. Use it.

It’s not easy to get. The hardest part is showing a “clear and present danger with a likelihood of future family violence” per the Texas Family Code. The police, the District Attorney and your lawyer can help you with this. Pack a bag, get a temporary phone, have extra keys, have a lawyer, know where the shelters are.

The Subpoena Power

By | Child Support, Community Property, Custody and Conservatorship, Divorce, Just and Right, Marital Property Division, Separate Property, Trial Issues

There are two types of subpoenas that can command two types of actions. Trial subpoenas command appearance at a trial or hearing and discovery subpoenas command appearance to give testimony for the purpose of discovery of evidence. Either way, the subpoena can also ask for production of documents or tangible items for trial, a hearing or discovery.

The subpoena power can reach beyond the parties in a lawsuit. It can also compel non-parties or entities to comply. Although there are some limits, generally speaking, someone can be compelled to testify or produce documents in a case that they are not directly involved in. For example, Denise Richards could have been subpoenaed in Charlie Sheen’s criminal assault case for his alleged attack on Brooke Mueller. In his suit against Kim Kardashian, Chris Humphries (her 72 day husband) subpoenaed Kanye West (her boyfriend) to appear and give testimony at a deposition, purportedly to show she didn’t intend to marry Chris for legitimate reasons.

Oftentimes, the only way to obtain admissible evidence in a case and prepare for trial is to seek information from third parties using a subpoena. Bank records, computer files, corporate books and records, report cards, medical records, phone records and so forth are good examples. Note: Facebook and other social media sites are protected by federal law from the subpoena power.

Failing to comply with a subpoena could result in contempt charges. The statute allows for a court to assess fines or require the non-appearing party to be confined. Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 176.8.